An ex-fireman, Paul became addicted to crack-cocaine, a 35-year addiction which saw him lose his home, family, and dignity, with 15 of those years frequenting soup kitchens in Muizenberg and Kalk Bay as a means of survival.
On his way to a soup kitchen in August 2010, Paul had not eaten for two days, and was feeling despondent and hopeless – reflecting on better days, working on an international oil rig where he could have lunch in cities such as Sao Paolo and Mexico City, and how his life was now reduced to a dependence on soup kitchens to get through the day.
As he walked past a litter bin, he spotted a packet of half-eaten McDonald’s chips. He reached into the bin for the chips, too hungry to consider where it had come from, and not realising that someone was watching. He was given a R10 note by a homeless person with an instruction to buy himself something decent to eat.
This random act of kindness changed Paul’s life, triggering a series of events that would see him dedicating his life to assisting men to live purpose-driven lives.
As he entered the soup kitchen that afternoon, he approached the supervisor to assist him with turning his life around. With the help of Glenda, the soup kitchen supervisor and others, Paul managed to get back up, and opened Hands of Honour shortly thereafter.